Nursing Home Workers Face Charges in Resident Heat Deaths

Facility responsible for lack of air conditioning during hurricane

August 28, 2019

Hurricane season is a good time for building managers to make sure their facilities have backup systems to keep residents healthy and safe during a natural disaster. Four nursing home workers in Hollywood, Fla., face charges in the deaths of 12 residents who were exposed to extreme heat following Hurricane Irma in 2017, CNN reports.

Strong winds from the hurricane knocked over a tree, which fell on a transponder powering the air conditioning system for the rehabilitation center. The center’s elderly residents suffered in the heat for several days.

Following the hurricane, Florida Gov. Rick Scott set new emergency requirements mandating that the state’s nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have supplies, power, and resources, including a generator and adequate fuel, to sustain operations and maintain a comfortable temperature for at least 96 hours after a power outage.

According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, 279 facilities have implemented an approved emergency backup plan and 383 have current variances allowing them additional time to fully implement a plan.

Don’t get caught unprepared after a natural disaster. Having a plan in advance to generate power is one of 10 steps facility managers can take to make sure their buildings are safe for residents after a natural disaster.

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